A few months of quiet work on the foundations of things is wrapping up, and I'm feeling certain enough about it to give you a preview. I'll be releasing a revision of each of the Madrona Labs plugins within a few weeks. Aalto, Kaivo and Virta all share a common core library, and I've updated it for improvements in compatibility and stability.
Text handling has gotten an overhaul to allow for use of Unicode in patch names and registrations. If your name is Фёдор, Zoë or 郎, or you want to name your patch, say, デトロイトテクノ, we've got you covered.
The code that turns messages from the host DAW into stable clock got a big overhaul: a new software PLL implementation. In case you missed it, here's a demo:
In order to stay compatible with upcoming versions of MacOS, the license code has been reworked. When I first started making plugins, I thought it would be the most convenient for everyone to download uniquely watermarked software right from the website, because just one install and no registration steps are required. So that's how we've been doing it. This was a neat idea, but it is a very inconvenient idea if I want to codesign the binaries to make Gatekeeper and its Windows equivalent happy. With every plugin being different, a dedicated code signing server would be needed to sign each copy, and that’s not practical for me to maintain.
I'm moving to a system where instead of downloading the whole binary, you just download a license code and paste it into the plugin to turn the demo version into a licensed one. (Yeah, like 99% of the plugins in the world.) All the other license terms will stay the same—installation on multiple computers is still fine, for example. I've worked to make the registration experience, from website to plugin, as smooth as possible. It may even be better than my old system, because you can turn the demo into a licensed version while it's running.
Timing problems affecting Reaper and a problem I introduced with Virta 1.0.2 are also getting fixed.
Because of the need to change the website, all the plugins are switching over to the new license code at once. Probably within a few weeks. It's a big change that should make deploying new versions easier for me, and should also make life easier for all users of the software. I'll keep you posted!
Version 1.0.2 of our favorite new voice-controlled synth and effects toolbox, Virta, is now available for download. This release brings the following changes:
interview by Geeta Dayal
At age 29, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith is a rising star in the world of electronic music. Her music was shaped by her years spent exploring the pastoral landscapes of Orcas Island in the Pacific Northwest, which led to a chance encounter—via a neighbor—with a Buchla 100 modular system. This, in turn, led to an affinity for the Buchla Music Easel, a unique, portable synthesizer invented in the 1970s. After several experiments with releasing her own material, her first full-length album, Euclid, was released in 2015 on the label Western Vinyl. Her new album, EARS, is receiving major acclaim; NPR recently raved that it "elevates the warm pulse of the Music Easel into the realm of the divine" and Spin wrote that Smith's album is "startlingly, richly fulsome, commingling the mysticism of Smithsonian Folkways LPs, IDM’s furrowed futurism, and the free fall questing of Laurie Spiegel’s 1980 landmark, The Expanding Universe."
Here's a nice clear PDF and an FLP file that should explain how to get Virta humming along in FL Studio.
Big thanks to Levendis and deathcomics here on the forums for putting together this info!
The second SMMS meeting will take place at Ada’s Technical books in Seattle on April 1, from 7–9pm. This is a monthly meeting for presentations and discussions about making electronic music.
I'm going to do a gentle introduction to Cycling '74's Max/MSP for the first hour, assuming there is interest. Then we can have an hour for open discussion and working on the web site and such.
Sorry for the very late notice on this month—been a bit slammed with the Virta release but I wanted to stick to the regular schedule.
If you’re interested in contributing something to SMMS, like organizational help, or a presentation of your own, there’s lots of room to do so, so please come by!
[http://seattlemusicmachines.org] has the beginnings of a website (thanks Bryan) and should be the place to go for info very shortly. There will also be a Facebook group soon.
Thanks to Thomas Helzle for this very detailed blog post on how to use Virta in Bitwig Studio. It's not difficult to begin with, and this explanation with nice illustrations and clear directions makes it that much simpler.
This update fixes a problem with audio input for all DAWs on Windows. It is available in the "My Downloads" area if you have a license, and the demo has also been updated. The Mac OS version is unchanged from 1.0.0.
Finally the newest Madrona Labs device, Virta, is out in the world. I hope you enjoy it.
Please head to the product page for sound demos, demo plugins, and of course that handy green "Buy Now" button. Thanks for your support.
Here are some notes I took over the last year as I worked out different aspects of Virta, my new voice-controlled synthesizer. Virta was a set of ideas floating around since four years ago and a conversation I had with a producer friend of mine. He had been talking to another friend who we’ll call DJ X, a person whose records I liked, with a room full of classic synths and a head full of musical ideas, but who nevertheless said what he was wanting most was to just sing and vocalize, play around with mouth sounds, and have that turned into music. This got me thinking about pitch detection and vocoders, and spectral analysis, and modulars...